5 Psychological Triggers that Make People Buy from You

If you want to grow your business and increase sales, using Marketing psychology is a great way to increase your conversion rate. Do you know how sometimes you just can’t resist that impulse purchase and is left wondering how did that happen? Most likely, that is the result of advanced marketing psychology applied to you. Marketing psychology is the study of human consumer behavior, and how humans react to marketing and advertising. Most importantly, it shows us how and why people decide to spend their money. So if you want to learn how to create an irresistible offer to your company, continue reading this article. Only by mastering marketing psychology you can tailor your ads and the copy on your website to activate those triggers and make people buy from you.

In this article, you’ll see 5 of these psychological triggers, and how to adapt them to your online store.

Reciprocity

Reciprocity is the principle that when someone gives us something, we feel in debt to the person and feel that we own them something and we should pay them back by doing something for them. Have you ever been in a supermarket and ended up buying a product you didn’t even want that much? (just because you felt obligated to after someone gave you a free sample?). That’s the principle of reciprocity influencing your actions.

Of course, if you have an online store you can’t meet with someone face to face to give them something. Does that mean that as an e-commerce owner you can’t apply the reciprocity principle? Not at all. There are several ways you can apply the reciprocity principle in this situation.

Examples of How to Apply the Reciprocity Principle

While it’s not possible to offer something in advance, you can definitely offer something alongside the purchase. You can, for example, add free samples when someone buys something, to encourage repeat purchases.

You can also use content as a free gift. For example, if you sell gluten-free products, you can give customers a free guide on how to make recipes using the products you sell.  

The reciprocity feeling will be even stronger if you surprise your clients by adding a free gift. Even better if they only discover the free gift when they receive the product they purchased, so don’t tell them in advance. If the gifts are samples, that’s a great way to expose the customer to other products that they would otherwise not have discovered.

Offering free shipping is one of the easiest ways to induce reciprocity. If you give the customers a threshold, let’s say “free shipping for purchases over $80, they’ll start adding more products to their cart.

Another great benefit of reciprocity is that it helps you create an emotional connection with the customer and increase loyalty. 

Social Proof

Social proof is now more important than ever. If a brand has less than 4 out of 5 stars they are in serious trouble. Customers are much more likely to not trust them. 

We as humans are social creatures. We tend to desire things that other people like, even if we don’t know exactly what to use it for. If you spend a few minutes a day on social media, that is already enough to influence how you think and your purchases, even if you don’t notice.

Social proof takes advantage of our human tendency to seek validation from others. Even though we don’t admite it ourselves that we seek validation, this is a common phenomenon that taps into our most primal instincts of acceptance . If you want to boost the sales for your e-commerce brand, taking advantage of social proof in marketing establishes a strong foundation for building brand loyalty, driving conversions, and driving positive word-of-mouth from your previous clients.

How to Apply the Social Proof Principle

You should definitely use testimonials on your website. That shows how other customers are enjoying your products. 

Another thing that brands do is partner up with influencers for social proof. Showing an influential person using your products, gives your brand instant credibility. 

Another tactic is showing a carousel of products on your website with the phrase: “Customers who bought this product also bought…”. This can also increase the likelihood of people making even more purchases.

You can also add a section of “popular products” or “best sellers” to your online store. That will serve as social proof as well. It eliminates the sent of doubt in the customer’s mind. 

Customers rather trust the words of other customers than the business owner.

Scarcity

The scarcity principle works because people are always afraid of missing out on a good opportunity. If someone tells us that we may not be able to have something, it makes us want it even more. However, you should go beyond the common tactic of “We only have 3 left!”.

How to Apply the Scarcity Principle

  • A good way to use the scarcity principle is by running temporary sales. For example, “buy 1, get 1 free”. Make sure that the customers know when the sale is going to end. This way they are aware that the deal won’t last forever. The scarcity principle will be likely to prompt them into buying it. 
  • If a product is limited edition or is being discontinued, it might be a good idea to highlight this fact. By doing this customers don’t miss out on the chance to get them. 
  • Having seasonal products also takes advantage of the scarcity principle. Customers feel motivated to buy it because once that season is over, so is the chance to buy that product. One famous example of that is the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte, which gets every Starbucks fan excited when autumn comes. They wouldn’t feel nearly as excited if the product was available all year round.

Pro tip: Once a product eventually gets out of stock, enable the pre-order option. This way the customer can know if the product is back in stock. It will prevent them from missing out again.

Pricing

Pricing your products is a whole science in itself and there are many psychological triggers you can use. Remember that price represents the amount of risk people take when getting a product. Make sure to make people feel like they are getting a great deal always.

Through strategic pricing, businesses can optimize revenue streams, effectively manage demand, and establish sustainable market positions. A well-considered pricing strategy not only ensures revenue generation but also communicates value, reflects brand positioning, and affects customer perceptions.

Here is how you can use pricing in your favor:

  • Competitive Pricing

Research the prices of similar products in the market and set your prices competitively. If your prices are too high, customers may choose cheaper alternatives. If your prices are too low, you risk undervaluing your products. Find a balance that attracts customers while maintaining profitability.

  • Psychological Pricing

Utilize pricing techniques that leverage human psychology. For example, setting prices just below a round number (e.g., $9.99 instead of $10) can create the perception of a lower price. People tend to focus on the leftmost digit and perceive the price as closer to the lower value.

  • Bundle Pricing

Offer product bundles or packages at a slightly discounted price compared to purchasing individual items separately. This can encourage customers to buy more items to take advantage of the perceived value and cost savings.

  • Tiered Pricing

Provide different pricing tiers or options to cater to various customer segments. Offer basic, standard, and premium packages with increasing levels of features or benefits at different price points. This allows customers to choose the option that best fits their needs and budget.

  • Loss Leader Pricing

Offer a product at a significantly reduced price, sometimes even below cost, to attract customers. The goal is to get customers at your door and create the opportunity to sell additional products or services with higher profit margins once they get to know and try your brand.

  • Dynamic Pricing

Adjust prices based on real-time factors such as demand, seasonality, or inventory levels. By using algorithms and data analysis, you can optimize pricing to maximize sales and revenue. This approach is commonly used in e-commerce and industries such as travel and hospitality.

  • Price Anchoring

Present a higher-priced option alongside the main product to make it appear more affordable in comparison. By anchoring the customer’s perception to a higher-priced item, the main product can seem like a better deal, encouraging sales.

  • Limited-Time Offers

Create a sense of urgency by offering discounts or promotions for a limited period. Deadlines can motivate customers to make a purchase sooner to avoid missing out on the deal.

Loss Aversion

The fear of loss principle, also known as loss aversion, is a cognitive bias that suggests people are more motivated to avoid losses than to acquire equivalent gains. In other words, individuals tend to have fear much more losing the opportunity to get a big discount than getting a souvenir for free with their purchase, considering that both cases have equal or similar value.

Loss aversion was first proposed by psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman as part of their prospect theory. This theory explains how people make decisions under uncertain situations. According to them, individuals weigh potential losses more heavily than potential gains, and they often exhibit a stronger emotional reaction when faced with the possibility of losing something.

The fear of loss principle is frequently used in marketing and sales to influence consumer behavior. If you put focus on  the negative consequences of not taking advantage of a particular offer or opportunity, as am marketer you are tapping into people’s aversion to loss. This can create a sense of urgency, motivating individuals to take action and make a purchase to avoid missing out or experiencing regret.

We have some techniques that you can use to put that principle into practice and give people an incentive to buy from you. 

How to Use the Loss Aversion Principle?

For example, limited-time offers or phrases such as “Last chance”, “While supplies last”, or “Don’t miss out on your last chance to buy this product” are commonly employed to invoke a fear of loss. By presenting the idea that a product or opportunity may no longer be available in the future, marketers aim to trigger the fear of missing out (FOMO). This tends to drive consumers to make a purchase.

One of the most common reasons people abandon carts is the fear of wasting their money when they don’t feel confident enough to purchase. Offering a free trial or a money-back guarantee will alleviate that fear of something not meeting their expectations and make them more likely to try.

You can also phrase your copy to highlight potential negative consequences. Demonstrating the negative consequences or missed opportunities that may arise from not using a product or service can tap into the loss aversion mindset. By emphasizing the potential loss or negative impact, customers may be more motivated to take action to avoid those outcomes.

Comparing the potential losses customers may experience by choosing a competitor’s product or not choosing your product can be persuasive.

Lastly, you can implement loyalty programs. Creating loyalty programs that reward customers for their continued support can tap into loss aversion. Customers may fear losing out on exclusive benefits or rewards if they switch to a different brand, making them more likely to stay loyal. You can also check the tips about how to build customer trust and loyalty. 

Conclusion

Marketing psychology is a fascinating topic and many business owners are still missing out on trying to understand it and apply it. We humans sure have evolved over the centuries, but our brains do not evolve at the same speed that society does. We still have many of the primal instincts we had to survive back then, like scarcity and social proof.

The application of psychological principles extends beyond individual transactions, as marketers also focus on fostering long-term brand loyalty through consistent reinforcement of positive associations and memorable experiences. In today’s hypercompetitive marketplace, mastery of marketing psychology is not merely an advantage—it’s essential for brands seeking to thrive among evolving consumer preferences and ever-changing market dynamics.

 

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Camilla | Marketing Specialist

Camilla works hard to ensure that the Marketing strategies and executions are on point and data-driven, not only for our clients but internally at Profitable Media as well. She’s been coming up with innovative ways to reach and engage audiences for over 8 years.

Picture of Camilla B. <br><span>Digital Marketing Specialist </span>

Camilla B.
Digital Marketing Specialist

Camilla works hard to ensure that the Marketing strategies and executions are on point and data-driven, not only for our clients but internally at Profitable Media as well. She’s been coming up with innovative ways to reach and engage audiences for over 8 years.

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Vlad P. Marketing Specialist at Profitable Media, LLC

Vlad Popirda

MARKETING SPECIALIST

If you’ve been swayed, convinced, or otherwise persuaded by the writing on our page or in some of our emails, chances are Vlad was the man behind it.

Be it Social Media Management, Marketing Strategy, PPC Ads, or Copywriting, you can rely on him to get the job done.

With a Bachelor’s in Marketing and a Master’s in Advertising, his life’s work is to leave this world better than he found it, and he aims to achieve that by putting his talents in the service of the right people and helping businesses make a difference in the world.

Outside of working hours, you may find him singing Britney Spears songs at karaoke nights, or exercising his creativity in varied ways, such as playing chess, designing board games, playing guitar, or playing Dungeons & Dragons with his mates.

Alisa Villanueva Account Manager at Profitable Media, LLC

Alisa Villanueva

ACCOUNT MANAGER

Alisa is the glue that brings all the parts of our operation together. The one always keeping an eye on the bigger picture. The person that makes sure that it all works smoothly and on schedule, giving everything an artistic spin and flourish with her keen eye for design.

With her background in sales, customer service and art, it’s no wonder her strength is in communicating with people, be they our customers or us, her team.

While juggling her different tasks (Project Management, Web Design, Quality Control, Customer Service), one thing never changes: she will use her artistic sense to make a project unique and she will hear out the person she is working with, understanding their needs and wishes while integrating and tying them all together to create an outstanding final product.

When she’s not tuned in to her work, you’ll find Alisa taking ordinary things and making them beautiful. In her artistic endeavors she explores many different mediums of expression, like painting, ceramics, dance, and cooking. Among these, her dancing stands out, as she is part of a salsa dance performance team, doing gigs both locally and nationally.

Her dream is to travel and explore different cultures, which she is always doing from home by cooking and trying out various cuisines from around the world.
Short Excerpt:
Alisa is the one that makes things work smoothly and on schedule, giving everything she does an artistic spin and flourish with her keen eye for design.

With her background in sales, customer service and art, it’s no wonder her strength is in communicating with people, be they our customers or us, her team.

Zach Warshawsky Chief Operations Officer at Profitable Media, LLC

Zach Warshawsky

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Zach manages the operational side of our business and coordinates all the work done by our team. He designs technical architecture and always keeps an eye towards the future, making sure his solutions are scalable. He applies his skills in all sorts of fields, such as Project and Team Management, Sales Funnels, Web Technology, Split Testing, Automation and CRM.

If there’s one trait he shares with Henry, it’s passionate problem-solving. Although he has been working for over 25 years in Sales, Marketing, Management, Team Building and Customer Service, perhaps his relevant business credentials start even earlier. At 15, he started a business selling and installing car stereo systems before he even had a driver’s license. Armed with a reseller’s permit and a passion for business, he started down the path of entrepreneurship and hasn’t looked back since.

With four amazing children and a wonderful wife in his life, his goal is set: provide the best possible life for them that he can. To that end, he works hard on helping clients scale their businesses through the use of cutting edge digital marketing tools.

His weapon of choice on this quest is not a coincidence, for his knowledge of technology is certainly top-notch. This can sometimes be a blessing and a curse however, when the Apple Genius Bar can’t solve a friend’s problem, it’s Zach’s phone that gets lit up.

To unwind, he spends time with his children, goes on weekly dates with his wife and is passionate about crafting culinary art… he unwinds and loves creating amazing home-cooked meals for his friends and family!

Henry Hamamjy Chief Executive Officer at Profitable Media, LLC

Henry Hamamjy

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

One of the two men that started it all, Henry has a knack for judging character and managing the internal structure of our team. The go-to guy for when business owners hit a roadblock, he is well known for offering unique, scalable solutions to any issue that presents itself. 

With a background in Sales, Marketing, Management, People Development and Leadership, he puts it all to good use in the service of his clients and fellow team members, helping them better themselves. 

He’s a born problem-solver, breaking any seemingly impossible task into achievable actionable items.  He has successfully helped dozens of businesses expand to the 7-8 figure level, by designing and implementing extensible, supportive and responsive infrastructure that his clients could then leverage to their fullest advantage. 

At work, he loves helping our customers make their dreams a reality, taking businesses to the next step of success, guiding them all the while. Outside of work, he enjoys a good meal with friends and a nice Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. He also likes travelling with his family and exploring different cultures and finding out more about our world. Having dreamt of becoming a soccer player when he grew up, he has since traded that sport for another, namely golf, which he partakes in whenever he gets the chance.

Little known fact, he won the Atomic Spicy Food Competition when most of the people quit after just a couple of bites. Scientists have yet to come up with an explanation.